My sister and I have daughters whose birth years are far apart; however, their birthDAYS are only two days apart.
The result with these close birthdays is exhaustion from my Sissy and I having to plan our daughters birthday parties, then having to run from one place to the other, as if it is no big deal. In truth, we have a great time, but we are dragging. August is always a rough month in Texas...it's hot, it's back to school for both school-age and college-age kiddos with all the stress that it brings; it's always a time of change...birthdays add to the chaos of this month. But, it's the POSITIVE kind of chaos that fills each moment with joyful anticipation!
Stefie's 22nd birthday was this past Friday. I can't believe my baby is TWENTY-TWO years old! First of all, she doesn't look 22, she looks 14. When she puts on make-up, it helps her to look older.
I must say, I think it's awesome that I have two kids who are now in their twenties. This is an exciting time for me as a mother who worked so hard to try to raise my children the right way. Being a mom was the best thing I've ever done; I took it seriously. My children were my true priority and it seems that the hands-on parenting, for us, worked out just fine.
Getting to see these gals begin putting their own lives on a good path is thrilling for me...it can be nerve-wracking, but they are so level-headed that their good choices only heap more blessings on top of my head. Of course, they are made of sugar AND spice, so they're good, but not bland!
As for Stefie, it's still very difficult to see her little bitty self and to remember she's all grow'd up now. It's great when she comes home because I get to see Brice AND Belle the Yorkie! PLUS, her and Brice got a new addition to the family this week, a sweet little mini-aussie they named THOR. There he is in the picture below, only two months old and such a ball of adorable puppy kisses.
We had a wonderful gathering, lots of people came out to celebrate with us. In fact, we had about twenty people here at the house having a great time. It's great to have close family and good friends.
I guess staying up until 3:00am with my daughters...talking, listening to music, laughing and just enjoying the moments of sharing space with each other meant a lot. Three in the morning came too fast.
|Stefie holding her boyfriend's nephew so he can blow|
out the candles. Then, everyone yells, "I'll take the
spit-less side, please!" So hysterical! Two cakes...one is made
from towering layers of COOKIES! Yum!
I especially loved sitting next to Heather, my oldest daughter, and we listened to song after song to be played at her wedding in October. The funny thing is...Heather and I have almost identical taste in music. She can play a song, one of her "favorite" songs and I promise that it's probably already one of my own "favorite" songs or is about to become one. From vocals to instrumentals, we share similar taste in music. Her and I have a musical bond that is timeless; we love our music.
Stefie loves music as well, but she's a more classical girl...Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera and such. So, I guess that Stefie and I love our musical shows! You should hear the two of us singing Phantom of the Opera numbers...we are unbeatable! For sure!
Saturday morning, since I stayed up until 3:00am, I found it shocking that I didn't even stir until around noon...not a usual habit for me. I usually wake early, and if it's too early, I read my book. But, I guess I was sleeping like a log and needed the sleep because I was SHOCKED to see I'd "over-slept." In a groggy panic, I woke up rushing around to get ready to attend my niece's birthday party at the local gymnasium that trains gymnasts of all ages.
Apparently, my oldest can stay up until 3:00am and wake up at 6:00am without any problem. Oh yea, she's TWENTY-FOUR years old! I remember thinking I didn't need sleep during fun times at that age either. Somehow, it becomes critical the older you get. Still, I wouldn't take back my 3am visit for NOTHIN!
So, we partied from Friday evening until Saturday morning for Stefanie's birthday, then Shaye's birthday party began at 1:30pm on Saturday.
|Shaye is explaining the next move to her buddy.|
A party at 1:30pm...no, that's not early, not unless you stayed up until 3am that very morning.
Still, seeing all those little 5 and 6 year old children running around the gym, doing flips, rolling down slopes, climbing ropes...it was enough to make you bubble up inside and remember what it felt like to have such abundant energy.
At one time, I also thought it was incredibly fun to run around and to jump and to fall on the ground and flop around like a fish; however, my body these days has too many "extras" that want to go in different directions during such movements. I have that Body-Echo-Syndrome...the jiggle that keeps rippling outward for more jiggles to take over, so it's not such fun trying to keep the jiggles calm and motionless at my age and body type. I'd rather walk a straight line and keep everything headed in the same direction than you very much.
During the rowdy part of the party, the adults got to sit on the cushy gym floor that should be for sale at the local Home Depot as floor runners to go all over the house...that flooring would put a little bounce in our step and it feels so awesome to the feet and legs!
|Heather, Stefie, my dad and Brice watching the kiddos!|
A couple of us were having discussions of how some kids go to gymnastics and become a gold medalist one day! After watching the Olympics, it makes you better appreciate the pure power those gymnasts have during their floor routines as they launch into the air for multiple aeronautics. That floor has some bounce, but unless you have near-super-human powers, it won't help you do much other than do a little bouncy move at a minimal level. Brice, Stefie's boyfriend, was so disappointed because he thought the floor would be like a trampoline...he bounced up and down a few times and as reality set in, he lost a bit of cheer. Dang, those gymnasts really do have to be strong enough to propel themselves midair while doing flips without freaking out.
All in all, the 24 hour span from Friday to Saturday was nonstop and just the way I like it. I end the day hurting so bad that I can't hardly take a breath without my rib cage feeling as if it has been pummeled and my joints feel inflamed, oh yeah, my big toe wants to whine as well. Things are harder to get moving these days, but once it gets moving it's harder to unwind and deal with the aftermath! But, it's worth it.
|I think I looked as tired as I felt. Well, I finally can see my|
laugh-lines, my crow's feet in the corner of my eyes.
For me, that's a good thing! I've wanted those since I was a
little girl --- I'm weird --- I finally am getting them and am celebrating!
After Shaye's party today, I came home and got to have more excitement...I cleaned house by myself. Believe me, after having nearly two dozen people eating and drinking in your home for hours, it HAS to be cleaned. After all the planning and cleaning it took to put the party together, I rather enjoyed taking my time to clean up the evidence of our celebrating, and I did it in style. I cranked up some 70's music as I washed dishes, swept floors and polished furniture...feeling ALIVE and peaceful and joyful.
I'm thankful that I can re-program myself to focus on what really matters in life. No matter what anyone else is doing or regardless of a tough situation in another area, I am able to regroup myself to focus on the moment at hand...that feels good. There are killjoy people out there and I don't let them kill my joy for things that COUNT. As a good time heads my direction, I stop thinking about painful things of the past and forget about any worries for the future...I stop and make myself feel, see, hear and experience the PRESENT without nagging interruptions from my own mind spinning. Suddenly, everything slows down and all I can see are the smiles around me, the joy that is shared and the people who mean the most to me.
Learning to be present right NOW is such a beautiful lesson. I looked around the room at the people present and could see that each one of us has had our own battles in life...some more than others, but we're there together at THAT moment for a fun celebration and we smile, we laugh and we soak in the goodness that pervades the space...more goodness than anything.
We all keep going --- keep supporting each other --- keep accepting each other --- keep loving each other --- keep being real with one another --- keep being THERE and PRESENT whenever possible. That's what counts. The people in your life.
And I am here right now, looking at the pictures, remembering the sweet moments of visiting with others at the party...people who mean a lot to me and I am thankful to have more memories of good times with those I love the most.
Next post, I will share with you the present I gave to Stefie...my own creation. That's for next time! For now, I'm going to ZZZZ land!